When thinking of Zambia, white sandy beaches are certainly not top of mind, but today, Peace Parks Foundation’s Chief Development Officer, Lilian Spijkerman, shows us why one of Zambia’s lesser-known sights, Ngonye Falls, is worth a visit.

Just a four-hour drive from the bustling, adventure-filled town of Livingstone, Ngonye Falls Community Partnership Park is situated in the south-western corner of Zambia in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. Fed by the Zambezi River, Ngonye Falls lies a few kilometres upstream from Victoria Falls, but due to it being harder to reach, it remains lesser known than its famous neighbour. Thankfully Peace Parks Foundation and partners are looking to change that!

Ngonye Falls Community Partnership Park was officially opened in 2012, and Peace Parks Foundation has been working alongside Zambia’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife to provide park and tourism infrastructure development, facilitate rewilding programmes and drive community upliftment through the building of schools, clinics as well as developing community gardens.

With a lot of new infrastructure already having been built, including a visitors centre, campsites and the whispers of a new lodge overlooking the river, Ngonye Falls really is a destination worth stopping in at. But it’s not only tourists who take time to visit this wonderful area as many locals use the squeaking beaches as either a football field or basketball pitch. Ranger Moonga from Zambia’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife explains that the white sand is deposited on the riverbanks of the Zambezi River. The squeaking noise the sand emits when walking on it is due to the friction from the fine grains rubbing against each other as weight is applied through our footsteps.

Ngonye Falls Community Partnership Park is a wonderful example of how the communities, organisations such as Peace Parks and governments can work together to benefit from the land, improve livelihoods and protect this landmark feature.